Your Health

It's snow time!

How to reconnect with your inner winter-child

How to reconnect with your inner winter-child
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Wet your winter whistle

Find your perfect winter activity

Winter safety tips

Dressing for the weather

BY AMY TIBBS
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, January / February 2012

There was a time when I loved winter.

Back when I was in elementary school, I couldn't wait to get outside and play in the snow, making snowballs, building forts and generally horsing around.

But as I grew older, my excitement for snow began to fade. Somehow, winter went from tobogganing and building snowmen to dead car batteries and weekends of hibernation. Without an activity to enjoy, winter was a long, cold three months and I couldn't wait for spring to arrive.

Then a few years ago, I discovered Snow Trek.

Snow Trek is a community initiative designed to help people reconnect with their inner winter-child by letting everyone try cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with free equipment loans and free instruction.

My friend Cam and I attended Snow Trek at FortWhyte Alive, where we took the opportunity to try snowshoeing. After getting basic lessons on technique from one of the friendly instructors, we set out for the afternoon on one of the many trails.

We had a great time. Snowshoeing offers a great cardiovascular workout. Shortly after we started, I could feel my heart pounding. I soon realized that it was important to pace myself, so I could chat with my friend as we moved across the snow.

We soon discovered that snowshoeing is an easy-to-learn activity that can be done almost anywhere - all you need is a little bit of snow. If you are just starting out, snowshoeing on a packed trail is easier than breaking ground in fresh snow.

Cross-country skiing is another great activity featured during Snow Trek. It's a low-impact, total body activity that will get your blood pumping while working the muscles in both your upper and lower body. It is a life-long activity that has many benefits for every member of the family.

Adding an activity like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to your routine can help you maintain a healthy weight, feel good about yourself and have more energy.

If you'd like to reconnect with winter, why not come out for Snow Trek 2012? There are still two dates where you can learn to snowshoe and cross-country ski, with free instruction and equipment to try. On Feb. 5, Snow Trek will be at the Harbourview Recreation Centre, and on Feb. 12, head for either the Windsor Park Nordic Centre or the Living Prairie Museum. For more information, visit winnipeginmotion.ca or call 204-940-3648.

Before you know it, you'll be coming out of hibernation, conquering the cold of winter, and feeling all the better for getting "in motion!"

Amy Tibbs is a co-ordinator with Winnipeg in motion.

Wave: January / February 2012

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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